Saturday, 22 March 2014

Day 1 - Settling in at Cape Town

Team Hampton and Fixed Wheel Racing ready to take on the Epic

Cant have enough bacon and Eggs say David and Damo!
Christelle and little Buzz (Bo( on the flight
With all the bikes packed and  loaded on the plane, we headed into the Qantas Lounge to load up before the long flight.  David was very excited with the prospect of eating the lounge out of bacon and eggs.  He tried, but was unsuccessful.  The flight was 14 hours and besides watching movies and eating, relatively uneventful.  Buzz had his wife Christelle and young 3 month old son, Bo with him as they were visitng family in Pretoria, so he had a little less rest than the rest of us.  The only anomaly  was about 2 hours out of Perth, when the pilot came over the intercom and asked those with window seats to look out the window as we were in the search area for the Malaysia Airlines flight.  It is a little uncomfortable hearing that when you are on a flight over the middle of the ocean.

leaving the hotel for the first ride in Cape Town
We got to Jo'Burg and had a couple of hours to switch to the local South African Airways flight. This was also uneventful, save for sitting in amongst 15 middle aged American tourists who talk too loud!.  We picked up our hire car, a 10 seater Toyota mini bus.  Plenty of room to stretch out.

Got to the hotel and had a late dinner where Damo got told off by the waiter for not tipping!!

And I have to follow this head for the next 8 days!!
A good 8 hours sleep helped knock the jetlag out of us and we were up early at 7am for a fantastic breakfast of fresh fruit, juice, eggs, bread etc.  I am right on race weight, so have no qualms about eating as much as I can over the next few days to build up some reserves. I have come into the 2014 race 1.5kg heavier than the 2012 race at 72.5kgs. Some people ask why cyclists get so concerned about their weight. This is as this race is like riding from sea level to the top of Mount Everest - twice. Imagine taking a litre and a half of milk and putting it in your back pocket and ride with that for 8 days.  It adds up.  When you lose weight, you don;t necessarily lose power, so it is a simple math that with the same power and less weight you are faster, particularly up hills. Having said that if you are too light, your immune system is weaker, so you are prone to getting sick.

David and Damo settling in for the long flight
So along with getting to the best level of fitness, you also need to balance all these factors to make yourself peak (yes Burgo that is what it means...)

Foster Brothers room in need a little sorting
Unpacked all the bikes after breakfast which had our rooms in some dissarray for a while.  We then kitted up and took off on the magnificent coastal road that is made famous like the Great Ocean road to spin the flight out of our legs and check the bikes are all ok after the transit. Stopped for some photos and to check out the local traders who were selling great African wood carvings. I will have to come back after the race and grab a few items, then finish the ride with a coffee in a great little cafe on the beach at Camps Bay.

We then drove over to meet the mechanics who will be looking after our bikes for the week, and then back to the hotel to meet our massage/physio who will be keeping our old bodies going for the week.  She will have her work cut out......!  Dinner and then bed. Registration tomorrow and then we ride the prolgue course in practice before the real race starts Sunday

Nice backdrop for setting up a bike

Buzz showing us his weapon of choice

Me and Damo setting up the Sworks

Buzz overseeing Hampton Cycles team setting up his bike

Nice Beach opposite the Hotel

and we are off for a little tap before the race

some great carvings for the taking

The boys all kitted out

Here is one of the lads trying to sell us some woodowrk

Damo getting some acupunture to release some of the stress
Both teams ready to go.  Very excited

1 comment:

  1. Good Luck guys. Bikes and Kit look great. keep the updates coming while you have the energy....dont let David near the computer unless you want it to blow up!